Saturday, January 17, 2009

Project 1 Speech - Cherished Childhood Moments

William Shakespeare wrote - “All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances;” I made my entry 45 years ago. My grandma was very happy and excited. She barged into her elder brother’s room and conveyed the good news with all enthusiasm. My grand uncle was deeply engrossed in repairing his radio set. He was a slightly capricious old man. Annoyed at being disturbed he muttered “ That is the only thing which is lacking!” He then suddenly picked up the radio set and smashed it on the ground. So, the news of my birth was literally breaking news!

I was a chubby and healthy baby. A well-known baby food company wanted me to model for their product. But my superstitious grandma refused fearing an evil eye. So my modeling career was aborted and I missed the chance of being well known throughout India as Glaxo baby. Many years later, I did get a chance again and I grabbed it. I did modeling for 5 years. And I was pretty successful at it. I can see some disbelieving looks among you. Well actually I was doing mathematical modeling, which got me a PhD from IIT-Madras.

As a kid I was dangerously naughty. Once my uncle gave me a cricket bat with high hopes that I will become another Nawab of Pataudi, India’s hottest cricket star in those days. Today he is probably better known as Saif Ali Khan’s father. I went out to play, when I saw our cook who was sitting down and grinding masalas. I gave her a nice hard whack on her head with the bat. I may have been around 3 years that time but I vaguely remember that poor old lady having ice packs on her head and emitting painful groans at regular intervals. The law of karma made me pay for this act 15 years later. I was playing cricket in my college, NITK-Surathkal. I was batting. I received a bouncer. The ball avoided my bat and preferred to meet my spectacles instead. I got a deep cut below my eye. That ended my cricketing days.

I grew up in Laloo Prasad Yadav’s state – Bihar! So I picked up Hindi very naturally and was better it than my mother tongue, Tamil. But I was not at all fluent in English. Once I met a very distinguished old Englishman. He was a former captain of England cricket team. He was Sir Leonard Hutton. He signed my autograph book and asked me something. I just blinked. I could not follow his accent at all. I wanted him to repeat the question. I said, “Hum samjhe nahin. Phir se boliye! “(I don’t understand. Could you please repeat?). And now it was Sir Leonard who blinked. After this incident my dad put me to a better school to improve my English.

After finishing my school, I did B.E. from NITK-Surathkal and followed it up with an M.Tech from IIT-Madras. In 1986, I began my career with TVS-Motor Company as an R&D Engineer.

During 20 years of my career, I have made several technical presentations; presented papers in conferences; conducted training sessions. But I know that I have a long way to go as a speaker. And that’s why I have joined Toastmasters Club to improve my speaking skills and help others to do the same. So let us all work together, learn from each other and become excellent speakers.
[This is the first prepared speech (of 4 to 6 minutes duration) also called Ice Breaker speech which new members of a toast master's club delivers. It is generally about introducing themselves. The objective of the speech is to - 1) Begin speaking before an audience; 2) To discover speaking skills you already have and skills that need some attention.
I delivered this speech on November 9, 2008]


  1. I liked the speech. It is nicely written (thought I can't imagine how a tamil guy born and brought up in Bihar would say it). Here facts meet fun (rather than figures), nostalgia interlaces with comedy, something like ice-cream with hot chocolate, a combination which you can't imagine unless you have it and can't forget after that.

  2. amazing! helped me a lot! thnx :D

  3. Nicely presented. Even I too brought up between Tamil nadu and Maharashtra..similar situation. New TM your ICE BREAKER is a model.